Many of us grew up hearing sayings that can destroy our peace of mind. Here are a few of them:
• If something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. Only a few things are worth doing well: loving God, ourselves, and others brings us peace of mind; becoming addicted to achieving a perfect body, house, image, or career does not. I’m not saying work or good health habits aren’t important. What I am saying is that God only asks us to love Him (and our spouses) with all our hearts. When we place Him first, everything else in our lives falls into place.
• Work first, play later. Perhaps a few college students could be helped by this saying, but those who wait to play before all of their work can find they are depressed or anxious. There is always a lot of work to do, and if we wait to play before all of our work is done, we may never take the time to play. Building time for work, relaxation, and fun into each day enhances our peace of mind.
• Nice guys finish last. Uh, uh! Nice people, who are genuinely kind and compassionate, are the most powerful force in the world. They radiate the love of God and help to heal the world. They finish first! (And women are attracted to nice men, who turn out to be great husbands and fathers. I’m so glad my husband is nice!)
So here are a few sayings that will enhance your peace of mind:
• You can’t judge a book by its cover. So true! Often, some of the dearest people may initially appear unattractive to us, while some of the vilest people may appear very charming and gracious. Some sociopaths and psychopaths lured many into their murderous snares by their alluring personalities, while some of the greatest people who ever lived were despised and rejected by men, including our Savior Jesus Christ.
• You can’t take it with you. This saying doesn’t give us license to eat, drink, and be merry or to squander our lives, but it reminds me that life is fleeting. The most precious thing we can take with us when we die is the love we have shared and received. This saying also motivates us to put first things first. My friend stopping buying so much stuff after her mother died. While sorting through her mother’s possessions, my friend realized that all the things she was working so hard to acquire was unessential and was not contributing to her peace of mind. She down-sized, gave away things she no longer used, and is much happier now.
• That’s just the way I am. I can’t change. Sometimes I hear my granddaughter say that to justify some of her less-than-pleasant behavior. I remind her that our actions are a result of our thoughts, and that any of us can change. I was once very shy, but now I can speak before hundreds of people with relative ease. I have learned that God can turn our weaknesses into strengths if we surrender to His will. He will give us strength beyond our own to fulfill our unique missions on earth, and He will help us make needed changes in our life as we seek to love Him and become more like Him.
© Carol Brown